Sunday, February 25, 2018

Keeping Air India Employees Will Diminish Bid Value, Says Interested Party

New Delhi: The bid value of Air India will fall if the government asks buyers to keep the airline's employees on payroll, according to Turkish firm Celebi, which has expressed interest in buying a subsidiary of the disinvestment-bound national carrier.

Celebi, which offers ground-handling services, had written to the ministry of civil aviation last year expressing interest in the national carrier's ground-handling subsidiary, the Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL).

Celebi's expression of interest came months after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the disinvestment of the national carrier and appointed a group of ministers to chalk out a strategy for the stake sale.

"If they (the government) are asking maximum price (for Air India), but asking us to keep the old personnel, then it will not match. The value of the bid will be lowered. Not just keeping the personnel, but also their indemnity is an issue," Celebi's Board member Cana Celebioglu said in a media interaction recently.

The AIATSL has a presence across 60 destinations in the country and the Celebi hopes buying the AI subsidiary will help it achieve a wider penetration in the domestic aviation market in India.

Celebi's CEO for India, Murali Ramachandran, explained that there are other areas that the company needs a clarity on, such as Air India's future value.

"Today, Air India has grandfather rights at all the airports but we'd like to know for how long. Additionally, AIATSL has assured business from Air India flights but what will happen to that once Air India is sold," said Ramachandran.
25/02/18 PTI/NDTV

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